Easiest trousers ever

Easiest trousers ever

Need to make a pair of trousers for an upcoming larp? Here is the easiest description of how to do so. Following the instructions you will get a pair of poofy and comfortable trousers.

Materials and measurements

Materials

Materials

  • Fabric (the length of your trousers + the poof + SM)
  • Matching thread
  • Measuring tape
  • Pins + 2 safety pins
  • Chalk/marker
  • Scissors
  • Drawstring or elastic

The amount of fabric required depends on your measurements and how much poof you want the trousers to have. I use 140cm wide fabric which I deem to give enough poof for my taste (my widest part at the hips being just under 100cm). If the fabric is not wide enough you will need to use two leg lengths worth of fabric.

The length of the leg (and fabric) is your desired length for the trousers, plus the amount of poof they should have at the bottom. You should add 10 cm seam allowance (SM) to this. I calculated mine as: 100cm + 10cm +10cm. The 10cm SM is required to make the gathering channels at the top (5cm) and bottom (5cm) of the trousers.

You also need to measure from your waist at the centre back (CB), between your legs and to the centre front (CF) at your waist. A tip is to wear a belt while measuring so that you find the waist a little easier. Trust me, you do not want this to be too tight. This will give you the measurement for the crotch. Divide by half and add the top 5cm SM to this.

How to make them

1. Lay out your fabric, right sides together and folded in half lengthwise. Mark the crotch line on each side. I marked mine as 45 cm long, slightly longer than need be to give more comfort.

markings

2. Pin along the lines and along the folded edge to keep the fabric in place while cutting. Make sure you won’t cut the pins by mistake. Cut out the two pieces on the side and cut open the folded edge. You now have two pieces, two legs. Remove the pins.

cutouts

3. Now take your two safety pins. You will use these to mark the right side of the fabric and CF of both pieces. At the top edge, before moving the pieces, fold over one corner and pin to the right side of the fabric and do the same to the other piece. When you fold it back the safety pins should lay against each other. Now you will always know which side is the right side and where the CF is.

safetypins

4. Take one piece and fold it lengthwise and right sides together. Pin the long open edge and sew this line. Zig zag or overlock any raw edges to keep them from unravelling. Repeat with the other leg piece.

pinnedup

firstseam

5. Now it is time to hem the bottom of the legs. Fold the edge over 1cm and then 2cm and pin in place. Make sure you fold toward the wrong side. Sew as close as possible to the folded up edge but leave a small gap so you can insert drawstring or elastic later.

hemming

The red pins mark the position of the small opening.

6. To join the legs at the crotch turn one of the legs so that the right side is out and place it inside the one that still has the wrong side out. This way the legs will be right side to right side. Match the seams and pin the layers together. The two safety pins that we put in earlier should be facing each other. Sew the crotch seam and again zig zag or overlock to keep edged from fraying. Tip: Reinforce the joining seam in the middle by sewing back and forth a couple of times.

crotchseam1

The finished crotch seam

The finished crotch seam

7. Turn the pants right side out. At this point you can try them on to check the fit. Don’t worry about the overlong legs. I made a little adjustment to the waistline of my trousers: I cut away a little of the fabric from the front because otherwise the trousers would have been too hight there. But the original length was okay in the back.

Adjustment to the waistline

Adjustment to the waistline

Starts to look like trousers!

Starts to look like trousers!

8. Almost there! Take out the safety pins and turn over the top edge 1cm and then again 2cm to create a channel for your drawstring or elastic. Leave a small opening at the front for inserting it.

9. Now you can insert drawstring or elastic into the leg hems and the waist and your trousers are ready to wear.

Ready to wear. Yay!

Ready to wear. Yay!

You could opt to leave out the drawstring at the hem of the trouser legs. That would give you very wide straight trousers, but you would need to adjust the length to be a bit shorter so you don’t trip.

These are the finished trousers. They are made from a slightly sturdier cotton. The fabric was a true bargain, and only cost me 3,60€. With elastic and thread I estimate the total cost of these trousers at around 4€ and they took me about an hour to make. Not bad.

Concept art for No Man’s Land

The work on the lart No Man’s Land (Ingenmansland) is progressing. We held the first workshop for the larp at the beginning of April with great success. Today the first concept pictures for the larp were published. They depict a Delanjan Alchemist, a nobleman and an assassin. The purpose of them is to showcase different styles of clothing worn by different people. The inspiration for the clothing style is a mix of Renaissance and Victorian fashion.

 

The Alchemist

The academic work is very important in Delanja, the search of knowledge seen as something sacred. Academics usually wear long robes as a status symbol for not having to do manual work. This Alchemist wears a yellow ochra dress, a green doublet and a purple robe. The higher her rank the more decorated or richer the fabric would be, probably a heavy brocade. The book is her manual of alchemical formulas and in her left hand she holds a bottle of luminescent liquid.

Delanjan Alchemist

Delanjan Alchemist

 

The Nobleman

The nobleman is dressed in knee long pants and a long-hemmed doublet over a ruffled shirt. He wears a leather chest piece and a short cape. On his chest is a Delanjan crest, and he wields a rapier: Probably in the middle of instructing younger noblemen and -women in the art of fencing.

Delanjan Nobleman

Delanjan Nobleman

 

The Assassin

Spies and assassins in Delanja work at the command of the Queen, but have a lot of leeway. Practical clothing is of key essence, but as usual in Delanja, everything has to be stylish.

Delanjan Assassin

Delanjan Assassin

 

The first two pictures are inked and then coloured on the scetching program on my phone (I decided to try something new). The picture of the assassin is a pencil drawing with some added textures (using GIMP). So a lot of first tries to me.

I will be drawing more concept art for Delanja during the spring as well as other concept art for No Man’s Land. Mor info about Delanjan clothing can be found here (in Swedish).

~Jo

The cost of costumes

So let’s face it: larping is a hobby that can be quite costly. A larp might have a fee or it might be free of charge, but even if there is no fee for attending that larp it will still cost money. There is travel costs, food and of course the clothes and props we choose to wear and bring with us. And larp costumes can become very expensive.

I usually make the clothes I will need for specific larps, but over time I’ve built a wardrobe of some basics and some specifics. Some time ago I had to get rid of some things because they were too small (the things I wore as a teen don’t fit a woman’s body), or too used up. I also got rid of things I had not used in a while and that I deemed I would not be using. As I moved to a smaller apartment I didn’t have room to store everything. Some things I have swapped and some I have donated. I’m not going into detail about what should be in a basic larp wardrobe as that depends so much on the types of larps one frequents. I might make a post about my basic larp wardrobe at some point.

What I am going to talk about is how to get costumes for larps and how to do it as cost-efficiently as possible. Some items you can get for nothing, some items will inevitably cost more. Making a whole new set of larp clothes plus props will always be more expensive than building a well stocked wardrobe over time. Here are some tips for keeping costs down:

  1. Borrow from friends and other larpers. If you need a certain piece of clothing or a certain prop you might be able to borrow it from someone.
  2. Renting might be an option for things you will only use once and that are too expensive or time consuming to make yourself.
  3. Swapping is a good option if you have something you don’t need anymore or that you feel it is time to pass on to someone else. Why not host a swapping party?
  4. Thrift stores and flee markets are great places to find little odds and ends that might be useful to you. The best things I’ve found so far include an old military rucksack and a wooden hat bag. Shoes, cups and containers are other things I usually find often, as well as jewelry and other things that can be taken apart to be used as materials.
  5. Reuse and repurpose things that you already own, or mod them to suit the larp you are going to. There are tons of options for this and only your imagination sets the limit.
  6. Make things instead of buying them ready made. If you have the skill for this or are willing to learn then making things yourself will always be cheaper (albeit more time consuming) than readily made merchandise. This will also assure you have a unique object.
  7. If you need to order items online, check with friends if you could place a shared order. That will keep the shipping a bit cheaper.
  8. Plan your costume in as much detail as possible before buying anything. This will help you to buy only what you need and not end up with a dozen items you won’t use.
  9. Keep an inventory of your larp items, or go through them from time to time to check what you might want to get rid of and what might need maintenance.
  10. Take good care of your clothes and props. Needless to say, they will last longer if you show them a little love.

So that’s it for today. The list can also be found under the page “Wardrobe” and that is also where I’ll update it if/when I come up with something new or one of you readers has any ideas that should be added.

 

/Jo

Concept: Courtesan

These past few days I’ve been fiddling with a possible outfit for a character I might (that is if I get the specific week off of work) play at a Swedish larp this summer. The character is still very much on the drawing desk at the moment but one aspect of her would be the courtesan/companion. I’ve managed to conjure up a dream image of something resembling a belly dancers outfit and tried my best to draw it. Here you go:

Courtesan

I imagine this would be a lovely dark midnight blue silk and chiffon creation with lots of flowing layers. The shawl might be an other color. I didn’t care about adding a lot of jewelry to the drawing since there is already a lot going on in the picture, but it will of course be included in the finished outfit. I’m playing with the thought of wearing some kind of showy headdress to accompany the ensemble. Footwear is something I have not yet thought of, but I imagine some kind of sandals with lacing going up the legs might work.

For cooler nights I would probably wear a warmer skirt over this and a warmer shawl and cloak. I’ll keep working on the design ideas and get back with more detail later. Right now I estimate that the shawl would require 2 meters of chiffon and the rest of the outfit 3-4 meters. I have a piece of silk fabric in my storage that I will probably use as well (unless I decide to go for leather). As for a pattern I think I will end up making most of this outfit without one, simply draping the fabric as I go along. If I manage to take any pictures of the process I’ll make sure to post them along the way.

 

Ta, ta!

/Jo